Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Random Reads: "The Underground Gambit!" by Wein and Trimpe

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Sometimes you pick up a comic expecting one thing, and sometimes said comic can surprise you! Take for instance Creatures on the Loose #11 (February 1971). According to the klassic Jack Kirby kover, Young Groove was in for a heaping helping of  "Moomba", a classic Stan Lee/Kirby creature feature. After devouring that mini-epic, I expected more Atlas-era mystery reprints, but instead was pleasantly pleased to find a brand new (then, baby, then!) short-shocker by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe called "The Underground Gambit!" No Atlas-era monsters here, just a square masquerading as an underground cartoonist and...well, just read it!


  1. Wow! Thanks for this blast from the past! (And it's always good to see Trimpe's stuff; I've been a fan of him since his Hulk days.)
    But honestly, I have to say there's a feeling of...revenge (?--not sure what else to call it) about this: as if Wein and Herb are slamming somebody they used to work with or knew personally (and not Stan Lee, who might have been square, but genuinely dug the "hip kids" [correct me if I'm wrong; I'm no scholar]). Several other names come to mind, but I'm unwilling to start a flame-war on speculation. Any ideas, Groovesters?
    Thanks again,

  2. Thanks for bringing this "underground" classic to light. The secret origin of Frank Miller, who knew?

    I just love pure Herb Trimpe artwork. He has a neat blend of classic Kirby and truth told a little underground vibe in there too. I love the rock solid visual storytelling in this one.

    Rip Off

  3. "The secret origin of Frank Miller"
    That's awesome!
    Great one, Rip!


  4. This is one of my favorite Herb Trimpe comic book stories. Wein have had a personal agenda as to who the main character was patterned after, but Trimpe wasn't aware of it when I asked him about it while he signed it. Some folk don't dig Trimpe's art, but I love it. They usually have a problem with the anatomy and he may have phoned in a job or two (like a lot of pros who've been in the biz for a long time), but he was a dynamite storyteller. This story has a little Joe Maneely and a little Jack Davis, and even maybe a little R. Crumb, but the storytelling is pure Trimpe. - Jeff Clem

  5. Hey Groovster!
    I remember this story well as well. So cool to know Herb well after all these decades. I was a Huge fan of his hulk & Antman, Godzilla & shogun warriors as well. I was lucky enough to interview him for Back Issue#27. Classy guy too!

  6. More Trimpe love: remember the Crest toothpaste ads he designed? I wish he'd worked in more animation...

  7. I'm wondering if Roger Krass is modeled on Ira Einhorn. He used to play the anti-establishment game by dressing in smelly clothes and spouting the lines he knew his followers wanted to hear. His brutal nature was revealed when he killed his companion and stuffed her in a trunk then fled overseas. Maybe Len was expressing his outrage in this story. Although Einhorn didn't meet Mr. Brimstone he was finally brought to justice, but only after the death penalty was taken off the table.



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